Taxing Time: Accounting Firm Maintains Work/Life Balance During Busy Season

By SHRM Online Staff Mar 10, 2010
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For accountants in tax and auditing practices, the busy season, Jan. 2 to April 15, is recognized as a time when extra hours and working Saturdays are a given. To help ease that burden, Crowe Horwath LLP, one of the largest public accounting and consulting firms in the United States, offers benefits targeted to helping its people maintain work/life balance, according to a release from the firm.

On-Site Babysitting

In several offices, complimentary on-site babysitting is offered on Saturdays during the busy season, a program that's proven to be popular with the firm’s professionals and their children. “Kids enjoy the activities planned for them, ranging from arts and crafts to group games, and special guests like local firemen,” says Kimberly Sass, Crowe’s director of operations services. “Plus, they love the idea of ‘going to work’ with mom or dad. The parents can get their work done and still have lunch with their kids without having to spend money on extra child care.”

Jodie Thomson, a senior manager in Crowe’s audit and financial advisory group based in Grand Rapids, Mich., has been using the babysitting program for six years for her children Luke and Katie, who are now 6 and 5, respectively. “Luke and Katie love coming to our work child care and ask me not to pick them up early,” says Thomson. “It allows the kids to ride to work with me, and I get to see them at lunch. Plus, without the program, I would have to ask a relative to watch them on the weekend.” Thomson says the babysitting program helps to make Crowe a great place to work.

Flying in Significant Others

The firm also seeks to ease the pressure of working away from home through its "Road Warrior" program. For those who travel overnight more than 30 percent of their scheduled work days, the program's benefits include:

  • A weekend travel program to fly a significant other or friend to their location, or the option to fly to a different destination instead of back home.
  • Hotel laundry/dry cleaning reimbursement.
  • Health club reimbursement.
  • Upgraded technology tools.
  • Airline club reimbursement.

The best perk of the Road Warrior program is the weekend travel program, says Joshua Lance, a senior staff member in Crowe’s audit and financial advisory group based in Oak Brook, Ill. “My wife has joined me for the weekend when I’ve been at a location for multiple weeks,” he notes. “It’s great because it makes being out of town and away from family manageable. We get to have a little weekend getaway in places we might not have normally seen.”

Related Resource:

SHRM Work/Life Balance Toolkit

Related Articles:

Flexible Work Might Improve Employees' Health, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, March 2010

Concierge Services Can Lead to Satisfied Employees, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, January 2009

Expert: Work/Life Initiatives Start at the Top, HR News, September 2008

In Hiring Game, Employers Attuned to Work/Life Balance Win, SHRM Online Staffing Management Discipline, February 2008

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of On-site or Near-site Childcare?, SHRM Research, February 2008

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SHRM Online Benefits Discipline

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